About Knutson & Associates

Sharon Knutson | Owner/Broker

Sharon Knutson grew up on the beautiful Hawaiian Island of Maui, consistently around the warm feelings of Aloha, locals provide in the islands. Being a firm believer of Aloha, she has integrated this philosophy into Knutson & Associates.


Sharon attended the University of Hawaii, focusing on Accounting and Finance. She was first licensed at the age of eighteen on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Her career in real estate started with commercial sales in Downtown Honolulu.

Sharon is a third generation Realtor in her family owned business. Sharon was the Broker in Charge of Knutson & Associates for many years, all while raising 3 kids, and 2 dogs. Family is very important to Sharon; This reflects in the relationships she has with her clients. Values like trust and honesty are the foundation aspects, Knutson & Associates thrive on. Sharon emphasizes that at Knutson & Associates, we speak Aloha!


Sharon Knutson, PB License# R(B)-18518

Knutson & Associates


Office: (808) 329-1010

Blake Kessner | Principal Broker/Owner

Blake Kessner is the Owner/Principal Broker at Knutson & Associates, who is also son of Sharon Knutson, the other Owner of Knutson & Associates. He is the grandson to Marilyn Knutson, founder of the company.


Blake was born and raised right here in Kona, Hawaii. After graduating high school, he left the island to go to Seattle, Washington. He attended the University of Washington & graduated with a bachelors in Business Management.


All while attending college, Blake worked his way up the corporate ladder in Hotel Management, for major brands such as Marriott & Hilton. His specialty was in operations, where he held division head roles. He has in depth experience overseeing operations of Front Office, Valet Parking, Security, Accounting & Finance, & Housekeeping.


Blake moved back to the Big Island of Hawaii to pursue Real Estate Sales & Property Management for Vacation Rental & Long Term Properties. He is a fourth generation Realtor in a family owned business. He specializes with investment clients & first time home buyers. Blake always gives his clients his 110%. He believes in strong communication throughout the transaction, always keeping people well informed. Standing apart the rest is important to Blake..He has numerous designations & certifications in the Real Estate Industy, empowering him to be a invaluable resource to his clients. 

 He understands & advocates that being detail oriented is crucially important in this industry. With the market constantly evolving, he pays close attention to how changes will not only affect our Real Estate firms, but our clients as well.

​With a strong passion to always strive for the best in all areas of his life, Blake continues to create new goals for himself. He is a fitness enthusiast who has a passionate interest in weight lifting, running, soccer & dance.











Blake Kessner, BIC License# R(B)-22317

Knutson & Associates


Office: (808) 329-1010

Cell: (808) 987-9295

Jenae Patterson | REALTOR® Salesperson and Head Property Manager

Jenae Patterson was born and raised in Kailua, on the island of Oahu.  She lived in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii for around 2 years while attending school and has been a frequent visitor of the island since day one.  After graduating high school she moved to Seattle, Washington to pursue job opportunities, further education, and to diversify her knowledge of culture within the nation.  She resided there for around 5 years before making the decision to move back to Hawaii.


Jenae very much enjoys expanding her knowledge of the world and traveling.  She has visited five different countries before the age of 18 and has been to Europe twice.  She desires to travel more in the future but is currently focusing on her career.  Her other hobbies/interests include playing guitar, art, physics, and engineering.


When moving back to the Big Island she decided to make a change in careers to move towards accounting.  With a background in restaurant management she possesses excellent communication and organization skills.  She has an enthusiasm for numbers and mathematics which made her a keen fit for an accounting role.  Originally hired as the accountant for Knutson and Associates she acquired her real estate license to pursue Sales and Property Management.  With her knowledge of the rental market and property management accounting she is a perfect fit for investment buyers. 


Jenae has an exemplary eye for detail and takes a large amount of pride in her work, she always strives to deliver the best service possible for her clients.  She is interested in all parts of Real Estate including residential, land, and commercial.  With an unquenchable thirst for knowledge she is always educating herself on developments within the Real Estate industry to best serve her clients.

Jenae Patterson has been an incredible asset to Knutson and Associates, as well as being an all-around good hearted person.  She would be an excellent choice for representation who you would be able to trust in to look out for your best interests.


Jenae Patterson, R(S) License #76980

Knutson & Associates


Office: (808) 329-1010

Cell: (808) 221-3119


Kyle Nishiyama | REALTOR® Salesperson

Kyle Nishiyama has spent 10 years living in Hawaii studying his family's history and falling in love with Polynesian Culture. Through extensive inner-island travel and exploration Kyle embodies the true sense of Aloha. With a widely successful career in Hospitality Management in Hawaii, Kyle's devotion to client satisfaction is second to none. "My only goal is to embrace every person I meet and leave a lasting impression. "​


Kyle Nishiyama, R(S) License #81599

Knutson & Associates


Office: (​808) 329-1010

Cell: (808) 725-1574

Joanne Maltezo | REALTOR® Salesperson

Joanne Maltezo​ represents North/South Kona & South Kohala. Her 17 years in the hospitality industry brings her the discipline and knowledge in providing excellent customer service, attention to detail, & patience. Her outgoing personality keeps her clients comfortable. She's a excellent match for finding the perfect dream home for her clients.


Raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, Joanne knows everything there is to know about her locations.


She loves meeting people every day and will work tirelessly for your best interest.


While not assisting clients, she spends her time with her lovely teenage daughter traveling, cooking and enjoying her friends.



Joanne Maltezo, R(S) License #80449

Knutson & Associates


Office: (808) 329-1010

Cell: (808) 756-8525

Lisa Folden | REALTOR® Salesperson

A Long time resident of the Big Island, Lisa has been a Real Estate professional for 13 years. Within that time she has worked with investors as well as local families buying and selling their properties. Lisa understands the Hawaiian culture and will guide you though the process with Aloha.


Lisa is known for her extensive market knowledge and her unmatched devotion to clients. Her success is based almost exclusively on positive referrals. She earns the respect of her customers by working tirelessly on their behalf and by always offering them candid advice. 


In her spare time Lisa is an active Rotarian and currently the President of her Kona Mauka club. She has served on many boards in the community and was a Director for 2 years with West Hawaii Association of Realtors. Lisa recently was given the coveted award for #1 Realtor by West Hawaii Today.  



Lisa Folden, R(S) License #70711

Knutson & Associates


Cell: (808) 987-4444

Mark Trahan|  REALTOR® Salesperson

Born and raised in Lafayette, Louisiana, Mark is a veteran of the United Air Force serving overseas in Desert Fox and in support of Operating Southern & Northern watch between 1996-2000. After military service, He graduated in 2004 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a BS in Accounting. During his 12 year Accounting career, he worked for Fortune 500 companies where multitasking and attention to detail were paramount traits that set him apart from his peers.

Mark has been in the Big Island now for 4 1/2 years. Initially working in Accounting, his career change couldn’t have come at a better time. With 4 years of property management experience, Mark joins the Knutson’s team from a small boutique company. With his vast experience in each aspect of property management, he will be a valued asset to the Knutson & Associates Team. Aloha ya’ll


Mark Trahan, R(S) License #81774

Knutson & Associates


Office: (​808) 445-9363

Cell: (808) 763-9914 

Ashley Gonsalves | Asst. to Principal Broker

Ashley Gonsalves is born and raised in Sonoma County California, moving to the Big Island In 2011, she was intrigued by the agriculture and opportunity the rural Island offered. After receiving her license in Cosmetology in California, Ashley was ready to experience another way of living at the young age of 21. She moved to an off-grid farm in the heart of South Kona and began learning to live off the land. She began planting gardens, learning of Aquaponics and exploring exotic Fruits she starting a small agriculture business selling local fruits at farmers markets which became her passion for the next five years. She dedicated her time to the land and fell in love with Hawaii. And what she thought was going to just be a vacation turned into her place to call home. The opportunity for plants to grow year-round and to be in warm weather with the ocean always close by, was her new-found passion. Ashley Joined our team in 2017 when she decided to take her passion for Hawaii to another level and begin to share her love with the land in another way, she decided real estate would be a good outlet for help her to assist others in finding their place on the Island. Her experience with rural land and plants makes her excited to work with the sales in that area in the future. She will be working towards receiving her real estate license in 2018 and plans to help in the sales of forever homes and agriculture land in the hopes of helping others find their love for Hawaii.


Ashley Gonsalves

Knutson & Associates


Office: (​808) 329-1010

​Cell: (808) 640-9757

Rae Leverone| Property Manager, Reservations/Revenue Management & Sales Agent

Rae Leverone was born and raised in Kailua Kona, Hawaii then moved to Bend, Oregon in 2012 where she completed high school as well as a couple years of college.  She was there for about 5 years before deciding to move back home where she started working in Commercial Real Estate as a leasing agent and experienced brokerage assistant, receiving her Hawaii Real Estate License in 2019. Over the course of four years she has worked in several areas of the Commercial Real Estate field such as property management, development, marketing, contract administration, leasing and more. With extensive knowledge of all aspects of the field she has also gained substantial familiarity of all market types throughout the Big Island especially in Retail, Office, and Industrial. 

As well as her Hawaii Real Estate License, Rae also has her NAR Green Designation, making her a member of the Green Resource Council. As a Green Designee she is educated in the principals of green real estate and can provide information and resources to implement sustainable practices in Residential and Commercial Real Estate that benefit the homeowners, contractors, and builders.

Although most of her experience is centered around Commercial, she is excited to expand her knowledge to the residential and vacation rental side of the business as well as bring her previous experience to Knutson & Associates. Her experience with customer relations, the hospitality industry and love for fast paced environments and people makes her a great addition to the team.


Rae Leverone, R(S) License #81465

Knutson & Associates


Office: (​808) 731-8614

Dominique Miller| Sales & Property Management Assistant

Dominique Miller was born and raised in Northern California and moved to the beautiful state of Hawaii almost 15 years ago. Since a young age Dominique has come from a family owned and operated property management company based in California. During her time here on the island she studied at the University of Hawaii with degrees in both Culinary Arts and Business Management. With degrees specializing in hospitality she will provide a personal based connection with each owner, guest, and tenant to ensure that all needs are met. Loving and living Aloha is not just a saying for Dominique, it is a way of life. She believes in family values and that each and every client will become part of the knutson family. When Dominique is not in the office you can find her with family and fur family enjoying all the beautiful views this island has to offer.  

Dominique Miller, R(S) License #84111

Knutson & Associates


Office: (​808) 329-1010

Mija Johnson| Property Manager: Accounting & Real Estate Sales

Mija, was born in Colorado and raised on the Big Island of Hawaii since age two. Each summer she would get to enjoy either Colorado or Alaska with her family. Experiencing the beauty of Hawaii Island and outer states has created a love of travel and a free-spirited way of life. With a personality of gold, she loves socializing and meeting people of different walks of life.   She has a strong background in Hospitality, Contracts, Accounting, Notary Public, and Escrow. Mija is excited to thrive in the real estate industry with Knutson & Associates starting her career with our company in Property Management in the Accounting Division.   

Mija Johnson, R(S) License #84310

Knutson & Associates


Office: (​808) 445-9362

Tim Leach| Assistant Property Manager: Maintenance

Tim was born in Dallas, Texas but raised in Seattle, Washington. He is a 2021 graduate from Washington State University where he also worked in hospitality while in school.  The rain from Washington pushed him away and onto the Big Island of Hawaii where his aspirations of working in real estate have come true.  He had been to Hawaii a couple times before while on vacation until he ultimately decided to move his whole life over to the sunny weather.  Tim’s consistency of hard work and dedication make him valuable to our company as he strives to make every client happy. Although most of Tim’s background comes from hospitality, he is excited and optimistic to expand his knowledge in the real estate field.


Tim Leach

Knutson & Associates


 Office: (​808) 445-9363

Shyya Hao| Quality Assurance Manager: Head Inspector

Shyya is an essential part of Knutson & Associates. Shyya inspects our Vacation Rental Properties. Whether it be for an Arrival or Departure, her attention to detail is exceptional. Shyya helps ensure the Physical Integrity of our properties is upheld to our standards.  


Shyya Hao

Knutson & Associates


Office: (​808) 329-1010


Ellen Liu| Property Management & Sales Assistant

Ellen Liu is born and raised in Tulsa Oklahoma, coming to the Big Island in 2021. Ellen has come from a family that works in property management and was born into a entrepreneurial family. Her passion of real estate started at an early age from her family business. Her ability of communication, determination, and dedication will cater to the people around her. During the time on the island she has learned the importance of Ohana and the significance of helping other people. Ellen’s goals are to focus on pursuing her real estate career and to make sure people’s needs are met. Honesty, integrity, along with determination and dedication, are philosophies that Ellen strives for in all aspects of her life. 


Ellen Liu

Knutson & Associates


 Office: (​808) 329-1010